John Waite Looks Back on Missing You

( In latest edition of's Single Again series, Dan Weisss speaks to John Waite about his 1984 no. 1 hit "Missing You." In May, Waite will release a compilation called Best, featuring songs he picked himself, including "Missing You." But the song is also timely because it factors heavily into the plot of Harlan Coben's new novel of the same name. Has "Missing You" been a blessing or a curse? John Waite: You know, if you write one of those in your life, you really left something worthwhile. A lot of bands don't achieve that. I actually don't think it's the best thing I've done. But it's reached the most people and reading Harlan [Coben]'s book [Missing You] brings home what it still means to people. I have to say I've never gotten tired of singing it. But it was sweet to read the way the characters in Harlan's book quote the lyrics. It was interesting and enlightening. Without giving away too much away, how does the song factor into the Coben novel's plot? John Waite: Well, people are going missing, let's put it like that. But also the heroine, Kat, she's an NYPD detective, she was in love with this guy who's disappeared, and that was their song. And the book goes from there, and it keeps coming up. Harlan got in touch and he seems quite nice, really. And the book, I liked it very much. I was quite taken with it really. We're planning to meet up in New York for some press, and maybe do something. Had you read any of his work before Missing You? John Waite: No! And I read a lot. I really do, I read a lot. I read everything. From classics to poetry, anything. Most good writers, they have a jarring way of moving the plot, the characters and the situations. And the thing about Harlan's work was, it was seamless. When I finished one chapter and another chapter started, you are still involved in the plot. He knows what he's doing.

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